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Just 60 babies adopted last year in England

(44 Posts)
Himalaya Thu 29-Sep-11 10:22:14

From The Guardian (and government stats)

The number of babies adopted in England fell to 60 last year despite a sharp rise in the number of children in care.

The total number of adoptions has continued to drop, falling by 5% to 3,050 in the past year, according to Department for Education statistics.

The number of babies adopted fell more sharply, to 60, compared with 70 in the previous year and 150 in 2007. This compares with about 4,000 in 1976.

The number of children placed for adoption also fell to 2,450, a decline of 10% since 2007.

The decline comes despite the statistics also showing there are 65,520 children in care, the highest number since 1987, with 3,660 of them under a year old.

Children's minister Tim Loughton said: "Today's statistics are a timely reminder that we must redouble our efforts to do better for children in care. It's worrying that the number of adoptions has continued to decline, and it's simply not good enough for vulnerable children to be waiting well over two years to be adopted."


sterrryerryoh Thu 29-Sep-11 11:47:10

The process takes too long because of all the red-tape and procedures that SS have to plough through. There are babies and children in care, and there are prospective adopters lining up to be matched. It's efficiency and money that need to be addressed.

Mumleigh Thu 29-Sep-11 12:01:07

Yes it's true that the process takes too long. My DD was abandoned at birth and yet it still took 10 months before she was placed with us.

When I asked why it had taken to long the answer was simply lack of staff to process her case. We were told it was because there were so many training courses that staff had to attend following the baby p case.

My DS was also placed with us at 10 months but the first 6 months of his life were spent assessing BM who wanted to keep him. It then only took 4 months to release him for adoption once BM agreed to relinquish him.

Even though 10 months sounds too long I am hearing from foster carers that even babies who have been destined for adoption since birth are stating in care until after their first birthdays.

GrimmaTheNome Thu 29-Sep-11 12:13:34

Gosh, I'd no idea so few babies were adopted. My neighbour's little boy must be one of the 70 - and he and they were fortunate, I think he was only a couple of months old. Certainly the welcome gift I got him was the same sort of size baby clothes I'd have got for any new arrival. I didn't realise quite how lucky they'd all been.

Yes, its appalling that this is evidently the exception rather than the norm - you can't put a baby on hold. sad

sterrryerryoh Thu 29-Sep-11 12:15:13

Having been through the process, I'm actually surprised it's as high as it is...!

Whatmeworry Thu 29-Sep-11 13:29:16

They keep on raising the bar,then wonder why fewer and fewer people bother to jump through it.

They just don't seem to think of the whole system and how people will react. I suppose that those doing the bar raising are trying to protect kids, but as usual, by trying to cover off the (say) 5% of bad cases they make the other 95% of OK ones impossible too.

hester Thu 29-Sep-11 13:32:42

We got our dd at nearly 11 months. I remember Matching Panel congratulating the social workers for processing it so quickly and me thinking, incredulously, "She was available for adoption from birth! We were waiting! Why on earth couldn't she have come to us before?"

It is really a tragedy how long it takes to move children through the system.

kelly2000 Thu 29-Sep-11 14:12:30

I do not think it is fair to compare with the 1970's. Today there is better contraception and sex eductaion, abortion is easier to access, there is less stigma in being a single mother, and it is financially easier to have an unplanned child.

I also think it could be a good thing that fewer babies are adopted if it means fewer babies have to be removed from their parents and put up for adoption. If however they are left with foster carers then it is different.

Another reason might be that more parents are fighting to take their child back from social services, meaning the adoption process will take longer. A lot fo children are only in care on a temporary basis so the overall figures for the number of children in care are misleading.

HarrietJones Thu 29-Sep-11 14:41:09

My experience from working in the system is that there is a lot of having to be150% that the parents /extended family are unsuitable.

That doesn't work in the case of relinquished babies although they may have to be sure birth family knows what they are doing ( psychological assessments etc).

The process for adoption is a v long one which could be faster if there was more staff but assessements are so comprehensive there will be delays whilst reports/references are collected.

CristinadellaPizza Thu 29-Sep-11 14:49:59

That article keeps hanging my computer so I can't read it properly. Did it mention the insistence on skin colour matching being one of the main causes of children remaining in care? Most children in care are black or mixed race but most prospective adopters are white. Agencies' refusal to place children with a mixed heritage with white couples mean many children languish in care

GooseyLoosey Thu 29-Sep-11 14:53:21

I suspectanother part of the reason for the fall since the 1970s is the rise in fertitlity treatment. Couples who could not possibly have had biological children 40 years ago now can.

sittinginthesun Thu 29-Sep-11 15:00:05

I am not surprised. I know a gorgeous 10 month old, who was given for adoption at birth, but it still with her foster carers due to red tape. We love her to bits, but it is just seems wrong that we are all seeing her first smiles, teeth, rolls etc, and her future parents are not.

Rhymenoseros Thu 29-Sep-11 15:14:37

could it have anything to do with how foster carers receive an allowance for foster child,up to about £28k a year but once adopted this stops? (have worked in SS finance)

GlassOfPort Thu 29-Sep-11 15:23:50

I think it also has to do with a certain box-ticking mentality. DH and I are not British and were told that we should go with international adoption as we could not be matched with an English child...

CristinadellaPizza Thu 29-Sep-11 15:33:35

Rhym - foster carers do not have any say over whether a child is put up for adoption. Or are you saying that foster carers would adopt except they get paid for fostering? There might be a few of those I suppose but I doubt that is at the root of the problem.

GlassofPort - yes, that is very common. And utterly stupid IMO sad

Rhymenoseros Thu 29-Sep-11 15:55:08

*Cristina a significant amount of foster parents wanting to adopt their foster child could not do so as the loss of allowances post adoption meant they were not able to afford another child on their income. I doubt this is the only reason there have been so few adoptions but I am sure it contributes to it

CristinadellaPizza Thu 29-Sep-11 15:56:16

Oh I see what you mean now, yes

Mumleigh Thu 29-Sep-11 16:35:57

The foster carers I know would be much happier if the babies went to the adoptive parents before they are 6 months as they feel that the transition would be easier on the child at that age and easier on the foster carer emotionally.

One carer I know had a little one with her from birth until she was three and is still grieving even though she takes comfort in how happy the child is with her new adoptive family.

Bramshott Thu 29-Sep-11 16:44:50

kelly2000 / Goosey - but from the stats - there are 3,660 children in care under 1 year old, but only 60 were adopted. We can't know of course how many are actually available for adoption, and how many are in care short-term, but it has to be more than 60 doesn't it?!

Reading about EarthmotherI'mnot's experiences of fostering newborns on here makes me realise how long these babies are with their foster parents, and how hard it must be for them to let go when the child is with them for a year or more.

CristinadellaPizza Thu 29-Sep-11 17:37:02

Yes my friend's DD was with her foster parents for nearly 3 years from the age of 7 months. They found it very hard to let her go (but had no desire to adopt her - they have finished their family). It's really tough on everyone

SallyDon Thu 29-Sep-11 17:45:30

We adopted 7 years ago. The approval process wasn't too bad but the children had been held up in the legal system for too long. The biggest issue for us has been the post-adoption support and support in schools, which have both been severely lacking. Most children are in the care system because they have suffered neglect and abuse. They are damaged by their experiences and challenging to parent and educate. Once they are adopted they and their families are very badly served.
It's still worth it though!

briedog Thu 29-Sep-11 22:08:40

We're waiting to be approved as adopters at the moment - we actually applied in August of last year; have recently completed the four day workshops, and are awaiting a social worker now - they visit about ten times over a course of a couple/three months or so. References and medicals are taken up at this time too. After that (if we get that far) we go to panel for approval, and THEN we can start the process of hopefully being matched to a child (which in itself can take months, or years). . it's all a long long long laborious process, and I'm not at all surprised that people drop out along the way.

Allboxedin Thu 29-Sep-11 22:18:02

Glassofport - yes, I also heard that the number of mixed race children up for adoption was high because they were trying to find mixed race families to put them with. Not sure if this is true or where I heard it but there do seem to be so many boxes to tick, I find it quite sad really.

Allboxedin Thu 29-Sep-11 22:18:50

Good luck with it Brie, it must be such a long tiresome process.

maypole1 Thu 29-Sep-11 22:29:33

The issue is that the social workers try to hard for to long with families that are broken

My foster children had been in care for five years only to find out at the final hearing that mum was unable to care for her I could of told them that five years ago

She is is now to old adoption and the years of moving from foster home to foster home has left fc with mental Heath issues and would now need a therapeutic home

She could of been adopted at 1 years old we need then that mum had been neglecting her for a year why did we need five more for them to relies she couldn't do it

Social workers are opposed to adoption and judges have to adhere to article 8 right to family life what about the Childs right to a life with out abuse

Every time my fc mu. Didn't turn up for contact and they gave her yet another chance all they kept saying but this could be her last chance to be brought up by family, thanks to their blind belief in a already failed parent she will not have the chance to be brought up by any one.

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